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Cushing moves to middle linebacker

New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss (89)

New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss (89) is tackled by Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing (56) in the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010, in Houston. Credit: AP

Brian Cushing was voted the 2009 Associated Press Rookie of the Year, but the second-year linebacker will now switch positions to make up for the season-ending injury to DeMeco Ryans.

Cushing, who last year played outside linebacker, will now take over at middle linebacker for Ryans, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The switch starts in next Monday's game against the Colts.

"(We coaches) met and talked about this at length, and we decided that Brian is the best fit for middle,” coach Gary Kubiak said after practice today. “Brian has the talent and the leadership ability to do what we need at that position”

Kevin Bentley, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery three weeks ago, fills in for Cushing on the strong side. He'll be backed up by Xavier Adibi, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.

The switch probably won't be all that difficult for Cushing; he played all three linebacker spots at USC.

Cushing missed the first four games of this season after serving a suspension for violating the NFL's steroids policy.


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